Arancini rice balls with aioli recipe

(40 ratings)

These tasty pea arancini rice balls with aioli can be made in advance – and are ideal to serve as a starter or as a side dish...

Arancini rice balls with aioli
(Image credit: Jules Mercer, Sean Calitz, and Silvana Franco)
  • healthy
Preparation Time1 hours
Cooking Time35 mins plus cooling
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories677 Kcal34%
Fat46 g66%
Saturated Fat8 g40%
Carbohydrates48 g18%

These pea arancini rice balls with aioli are super easy to make taking 35 minutes to cook.

Make 18 arancini rice balls in one go with this nifty recipe - perfect for serving as part of your buffet food spread. Each ball is coated with golden panko breadcrumbs. Packed with flavor thanks to the butter, white wine, stock, and Parmesan cheese. Serve with a homemade aioli dip.


  • 15g butter
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 100g frozen peas, thawed
  • 30g finely grated Parmesan (or any other hard cheese)
  • Zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • 75g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 75g  panko breadcrumbs
  • 300g asparagus, or 2 spears per person
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

For the aioli:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2tsp caster sugar
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 250ml sunflower oil




  1. Heat the butter in a medium-sized pan until sizzling. Stir in the risotto rice, cook for 1 min, then add the wine and give it a good stir. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the wine to cook off for 5-8 mins.
  2. When the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add the vegetable stock and stir well, then cover with a lid. Cook the risotto gently for 20 mins, stirring every few mins, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and has a gentle bite to it.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the peas in a small processor to make a coarse purée.
  4. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the pea purée, cheese, lemon zest, and juice. Spread the rice mixture over a large plate, or baking tray, and allow to cool for about 20 mins.
  5. Roll the rice firmly into 18 walnut-sized balls. Place on a baking tray, cover with cling film, and store in the fridge until you need them.
  6. For the aioli, use a small blender or a stick blender, to blitz the egg yolk, garlic, mustard, sugar, and lemon juice together. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream until the mayonnaise thickens. Season well to taste. Store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Heat 5cm of oil in a medium pan to fry the arancini balls. The oil is ready when a cube of bread browns in 2 mins.
  8. Place the flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs, each in 3 separate bowls, next to each other. Roll the arancini in the flour first, then the egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Fry them in batches until golden brown.
  9. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the asparagus or cut it very thinly in length. Divide between the serving plates and top with the balls of arancini, a dollop of aioli, and a lemon wedge.

Top tips for making pea arancini rice balls with aioli

If you have any leftover risotto skip to step 5. 

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Jess Meyer
Food Editor

Jess is the Group Food Editor at Future PLC, working across brands in the woman’s lifestyle group, including Woman and Home, Woman’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, and Hailing from the Antibodies, Jess has a background in media and video production, with many years of experience working on tv and commercial video projects. After relocating to the UK, Jess studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, graduating with a diploma in culinary arts before gaining a scholarship to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie (ENSP) in France, where she learned the fine art of French patisserie.